Australia dithers as Iran elected VP of UN General Assembly

The election overnight of the Islamic Republic of Iran as Vice President of the UN General Assembly is a disgrace that should have been prevented from happening.

The barbaric Islamic Republic of Iran regime has no business being in any leadership position at the United Nations. That is why the Senate Committee inquiry I chaired recommended that the Australian Government should oppose the election of the IRI regime to any United Nations bodies.

Incredibly, just hours before Iran was elected VP of the General Assembly, the Australian Government said its response to this recommendation was still “under consideration”.

It is simply not good enough that the Australian Government has failed to respond to this and all the other recommendations of the Senate inquiry more than four months after the report was tabled.

Had Australia adopted this recommendation, it would have sent a clear message to all countries who value human rights and the rules-based order that the IRI's election to UN leadership positions undermines the United Nations and must be opposed. Having failed to do so, Iran has secured yet another key leadership position at the UN, just weeks after being elected as Chair of the UN Human Rights Council Social Forum.

As the US told the UN after this morning’s vote, Iran defies UN Security Council arms embargoes, violates the human rights of its own citizens, and exports violence and weapons, fostering insecurity and inciting violence throughout the Middle East and across the globe. It is a country that has repeatedly demonstrated a clear lack of respect for the UN Charter and the authorities of various UN bodies.

This is the message that should have been delivered by the Australian Government many months ago by accepting and acting on the recommendations of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade References Committee.